Tyne & Wear Museums homepage

Contact us



My visual memories

A photo of Charles

Charles was born in 1929. He was born and brought up in Gateshead until 1940 when his family move to Sunderland. His great grandfather came from Lithuania. Charles became involved in local politics and served as Mayor of Sunderland, 1976/77 and as Leader of the Council for 16 years.

Charles was interviewed by Gillian Findlay on the 19th July 2000. The interview lasted for 1 and a half hours.

BSL introduction.

Listen to my memories

Family on the town council

You need to enable JavaScript, and have the flash player installed to view this media player.

The Sunderland, when I came in 1940 there were two synagogues, the one on Ryhope road and one on Mowbray road. Mowbray one where my grandfather went was very orthodox but modern orthodox, you know I would go in; the younger people were I mean. My grandfather didn't mix with gentiles, gosh, but of course his son, my uncle was already on the council, and my uncles' aunt also got on the council. In fact there was one time when there were four Jewish councils, all four descendants of my great grandfather, two Conservative and two Labour. I always used to say if he could come back, he of all people his left hand would have known what his right hand was doing wouldn't he. That was a wonderful, he never would have believed I am sure. I never met him because Jewish people don't name somebody after somebody who was living, so I never met him. He died shortly before I was born. Try and envisage that four of his descendents would have been on Sunderland town council. Politics would have been irrelevant; it was just the idea that the community had accepted four of his descendents to be representatives.

Click to listen

Related themes

Click to view larger version